PETALING JAYA: With road crashes being a daily occurrence in the country, a road safety expert has urged the authorities to make dashcams compulsory for all motor vehicles, particularly public vehicles.
According to the latest figures released by police, there were 402,626 road crashes between January and September last year.
Universiti Putra Malaysia head of the Putra Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Research Group Prof Dr Kulanthayan K.C. Mani said a dashcam is an important device to install in vehicles.
“The government should promote the use of dashcams with other stakeholders. For example, the insurance industry would benefit from dashcam recordings in terms of compensation involving road crashes.
“Dashcams also help a lot in crash investigations by the police and insurance adjustors,“ he said.
Kulanthayan said dashcams could point to how a road crash occurred, especially when there are no witnesses. They also represent a supplementary but critical device for investigators of a crash case.
Lawyer Kokila Vaani Vadiveloo said dashcams are like any other recording device, such as a CCTV system, from which footage can be used as a crucial part of evidence in a court case.
“In the recent Basikal Lajak case, the accused Sam Ke Ting claimed that there was another vehicle involved in the crash. However, as there was no CCTV or dashcam footage to back her claims, it was dismissed.
“Dashcams can be recognised as documentary evidence under Section 3 of the Evidence Act. Hence, their introduction in road crashes would be of benefit to the parties involved in court proceedings, including the judge,” she said.
Automotive Accessories Traders Association of Malaysia president Cherrie B.C. Lim told theSun that while dashcams are pre-installed in most new passenger cars, motorists should also install them in older vehicles.
“Dashcams can protect drivers in case of road crashes by providing evidence on how a crash occurred and even prevent instances of fraud.”
Lim said they could also show a motorist’s driving habits as they are being recorded, adding that this could make drivers more conscious of the need to heed traffic regulations.
“Dashcams, or dashboard cameras are small cameras that are typically mounted on the dashboard or windshield of a vehicle to record the road view.
“There are many types of dashcams in the market, such as front recording, dual channel, WiFi enabled and advanced dashcams that include 4G, GPS and even features such as an advanced driver assistance system,” she said.
Malaysia Used Vehicle Autoparts Traders Association president Heng Kim Siang said dashcams are good car accessories that could discourage violation of traffic laws.
“It is recommended to set up dashcams in all public transport vehicles as the drivers are responsible for the lives of passengers. They can also be used to determine fault in the event of a road crash,” he said.
Heng said dashcams would also help identify reckless drivers, and public transport vehicles such as buses and taxis must have dashcams to ensure the safety of passengers.
“There are many types of dashcams available, ranging from just over RM100 to about RM1,000. The price difference is due to the quality of the dashcams.
“A good quality dashcam will provide better visuals, even during rain. It is still the owner’s choice to install a dashcam as it is his responsibility to manage it and ensure it remains in good working order,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research chairman Prof Dr Wong Shaw Voon said making dashcams compulsory would be a challenge as the authorities would have to plan and decide how to enforce it.
“It is not practical to make dashcams compulsory. It is a car accessory and we can encourage people to use them, but making it compulsory would be challenging.
“Dashcams may be useful as evidence in case of a road crash, but they would not be able to help prevent road crashes from happening,” he said.